Share Discuss Tabletop Photography Techniques

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The link provided below takes you to a short (4-minute) video explaining one way of making a photo of earbuds that brings out their details, shape and shiny surface. Concepts used in the setup can be used in lots of photography. The tutorial is so good that I'm gonna subscribe to the photographer's broadcasts.

https://petapixel.com/2021/03/31/ho...product-photo-with-flashes-and-diy-modifiers/

I had never heard of white tack. I would use museum wax mostly because my small bottle of it will probably last the rest of my life. I can vouch that museum wax can be easily removed from objects after using it to hold them in place; I don't know about white tack.
 
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Picture Perfect Food -- Master the Art of Food Photography with 52 Bite-Sized Tutorials
Author: Joanie Simon, creator of The Bite Shot (thebiteshot.com)
Available at Amazon.com in paperback for $22 and in Kindle for $10

This is a really wonderful book released just this month that explains everything I can think of about the details of photographing real food displayed in a traditional setting. It's appropriate for beginners when it comes to understanding camera settings and exposure. Yet ideas about how to present food including tips about composition, depth of field, lighting, color, texture, props, and tools that hold the food in an ideal position will surely inspire both novice and experienced tabletop photographers.

I plan to review at least one tutorial every week, as I expect to be inspired and to be provided a few tips that are new to me despite that I've regularly been doing this type of photography for years.

Just one complaint at first glance: The descriptions of the two photos displayed on page 35 are switched. The photo on the left is described as an example of side lighting and the photo on the right is described as an example of back lighting but the lighting is actually the other way around.

Caveat: I haven't read the book; I have only quickly skimmed through all 52 tutorials.
 
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I just today discovered a good tool for holding items in place -- 16 gauge galvanized steel wire. That gauge is heavy enough to support most items I would photograph or would use outside the frame such as flags and reflectors. It's also malleable enough to easily bend and thin enough to easily cut with a small pair of wire cutters. A 25-foot piece of it costs less than $3.
 
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In post #222 that I wrote a couple weeks ago, I favorably reviewed a newly released book about making food photos after I had only skimmed its tutorials. I've now read every word of the book and am just as impressed now as then.

I had hoped to get a few tips and to be inspired by the book and it didn't disappoint. Ideas I got from it include:
  • How to create a background or tabletop surface by spreading spackle on a piece of plywood, leaving as little or as much texture as you want. After it completely dries, paint it with a matte paint. To protect the surface from food stains, spray it with a matte sealer.
  • To gain increased control of how a napkin folds and lays, spritz it with water.
  • The book provided a few composition ideas I hadn't thought of on my own.
  • Makeup wedges are handy for propping up food. (I had never heard of makeup wedges, much less heard of using them to make food photos.)
  • To preserve the color of the inside of cooked meat, bring the meat at least to room temperature or put it in the refrigerator. Once it's time to place the meat in the scene, cut it to expose the inside. Its inside color will change slower than when cutting freshly cooked, hot meat.
About the following statement on page 88: "Tangents are when lines and shapes within a composition are touching or intersect in ways that are visually bothersome." That's simply not true because a tangent is a tangent whether or not it's unappealing. I'm reasonably confident the author meant to explain that tangents are lines and shapes that touch and that they are visually bothersome in food photography. She's right. (They're also unappealing in other kinds of photography.) It's almost always more attractive to position objects in the scene so they either overlap or are separated by space; it's generally a no-no when the placement of objects just touch each other.

It was interesting to learn the author's take that using products that imitate food is being done less and less in the world of commercial food photography.
 
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The link provided below gives access to a free pass for live streaming all events at a food photography summit featuring about a dozen photographers and stylists including, Joanie Simon, author of the food photography book discussed in two of the three previous posts. The summit will be held June 9 - 11. If you want the luxury of being able to view each session at your convenience over a period of one year rather than being limited to viewing them when they are live, you can purchase that option for $100.

https://www.littlerustedladle.com/s...-47017830&mc_cid=3ccd3b227d&mc_eid=0c1a3c9746
 
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